Gardner Dunn, House of Suntory’s global ambassador, reflects on the brand’s legacy and upcoming 100th anniversary.
Gardner Dunn is a man who didn’t initially plan to work in the world of spirits. After a wrist injury while on tour as a drummer, House of Suntory’s (house.suntory.com) global ambassador began entering cocktail competitions. Traveling across the world to educate the market on Japanese whisky, the industry leader takes us through each sip infused with the essence of Japanese culture.
PHOTO BY ALLISON WEBER
1 What does House of Suntory’s upcoming 100th anniversary mean to you?
This year is a 100-anniversary pinnacle event in NYC and worldwide. Celebrating the hundredth anniversary includes launching new, limited releases and supporting activations within markets.
2 What makes Japanese whisky different from other types of whisky?
Japan experiences distinct and powerful four seasons. The country is also known for using its notably soft water in blending. Additionally, some wood used in crafting casques, such as the Mizunara wood and Japanese oak, is native to Japan.
3 Can you explain the process of making Japanese whisky?
On paper, it is the same process as scotch. However, the distinction with us is that our blending team employs various techniques and innovations, all exclusive to our team of blenders.
4 What words do you live by?
Authenticity, leadership, loyalty, and friendships.
5 What makes House of Suntory unique?
At our company, innovation is what distinguishes us from the rest. We continually strive to improve ourselves by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the spirits industry, from the products we create to how we produce them. Our commitment to innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and it drives us to raise the bar for ourselves and our industry constantly.